Daimler, Hyundai, Tesla
Fires, recalls, battery chaos: Are electric car drivers guinea pigs for the auto industry?
Press Inform / Mercedes Mercedes EQC. Daimler’s Neus electric car was hardly delivered when there was the first recalls. And Daimler is by no means solely with technical problems with e-cars
Site author Carl Christian Jancke
Site editor Sebastian Viehmann
The batteries run out at Daimler’s luxury streams. Hyundai must 80.Swap 000 batteries. The latest Tesla has already burned down. The electric car is considered many an alternative drive type of tomorrow, but on the way there is still plenty of fine work necessary.
The batteries of the Mercedes EQC from the 2019 built in 2019 are not entirely tight. Therefore they could get on fire. The manufacturer asks the buyers of 1463 of the electric SUVs to the workshop to improve the sealing of the high-voltage batteries. The manufacturer can be happy that this model has not turned out to be a real sales hit. The internet portal "BW24" reports that there are only 20 worldwide.000 vehicles have been sold, which is why Daimler has not yet introduced the car on the US market.
Electric cars with teething problems
The owner hits worse From worldwide approx. 82.000 Hyundai Kona Elektro and Ioniq from Korean production. In some vehicles, damage to the battery cells occurred. Under certain circumstances, according to Hyundai in a letter, the site is available, “it can happen that a short circuit is created within the high -voltage battery. The short circuit could possibly cause inflammation of the high -voltage battery. It cannot be ruled out that personal injury may occur in individual cases.""
Private Hyundai warns in a callback letter of the fire risk of the battery in the Kona Electric electric car
Due to the world’s high demand for high-voltage batteries, the Hyundai buyers do not simply get new batteries. Instead, the capacity of the batteries is limited to 90% until new batteries are available.
Still little experience with batteries
In both cases, the observer creeps up the feeling, that the manufacturers have outsourced part of the development work on the buyer. The pressure in the kettle is also enormous: With the upcoming Euro 7 standard, the EU will practically bury the combustion engine, all manufacturers – albeit above all in the European market – have to electrify their model range. Even the long as "Important bridge technology" Praised plug-in hybrids have a low half-life, manufacturers like Audi are no longer planning in favor of pure battery vehicles. Everything has to go very quickly at Volkswagen, Daimler, Opel or BMW. And with many models, the customers now notice this too in the form of all the recall letters that flutter into them in the house.
Hyundai Hyundai has to call tens of thousands of electric cars back due to the risk of short-circuit
Cars mutate more and more rolling flat screen chimneys with electric motors and high -voltage. Nothing rolls without a functioning software. Volkswagen noticed this in the introduction of the ID3 and ID4 models. This was recently confessed to VW sales board Klaus Kellmer at the VW Innovation talk "Business Insider" a .
Software disaster at Volkswagen
One year after the market launch, the ID models receive the latest software version by mobile update “Over the Air” (OTA). Originally, the first vehicles were only delivered with a spartan version that did not meet the promised properties. The car is obviously almost trouble -free. Even with the – not electrical – Golf 8, there were initially software problems. The OTA updates, if they work, of course have the advantage that the cars for updates hardly have to go to the workshop. But you have to be able to do that, and it shows that the electric market leader Tesla, which is once smiled by German manufacturers, probably has more on the pan than the Americans are trusted.
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The various ailments of the Stromer and hybrid
In the worst case, software errors are annoying, but often it doesn’t stay that. In the past few months, recalls for electric cars and plug-in hybrids have been going out like mushrooms. Some examples:
- ford: Calls were pronounced several times for the Ford Kuga. Affected: almost 33.000 vehicles worldwide. Ford finally had to impose a sales stop for the car. The new Mustang Mach-E also has problems. As "Site" reports, the drive goes on strike after long journeys with recuperation. The problem first noticed in Norway. A software update should fix it.
- General Motors: Sometimes it doesn’t even help. In mid -November, 66 were worldwide.Called back 000 of the type Chevrolet Bolt and warned before charging. The German sister model Opel Ampera-e is also affected. A software update should fix the problems – but apparently did not do that: like that "Wall Street Journal" reported, even after the update, two Chevys were on fire again. GM has now advised the vehicle owners, Not parking the car in garages and also don’t charge overnight. The US Transport Security Authority NHTSA examines the incident and informed that the batteries have a technical problem and can ignite independently.
- VW: In addition to recalls at the VW e-up, however, only a few vehicles were affected, the brand new plug-in hybrid of the Golf 8 made headlines. During the trip, the car caught fire in a place in Hesse a few weeks ago. The Lithuim-ion battery of the Golf Plug is located in front of the rear axle under the back seat. The regional newspaper HNA reports: "The Golf was on fire within a few seconds. The two occupants could just save themselves outdoors. Local residents who had become aware of the explosion on the vehicle fire due to the bang of the explosion immediately alerted the fire brigade." The car had only 300 kilometers on the speedometer. At Site’s request, Volkswagen spokesman Stefan Voswinkel said about the case: "In order to be able to guarantee the high standard of our vehicles, we analyze the closer circumstances and the technical background of a case in which a Golf 8 should have occurred, according to the media report. On the basis of the test results, we will initiate appropriate measures if necessary. When asked about the current status, it was said in mid -July: "It is already clear that the cause of the fire was an event outside the high-voltage battery and there is no system in the concept or production."
- Audi: With the model "E-tron" there was already recall in 2019, shortly after delivery of the car. The trigger is a possibly incorrect seal through which moisture could get into the battery system – short -circuit and fire risk here too. In 2020, a young woman burned in an electric audi after an accident, but it is still unclear what exactly was the cause of the fire; It should have nothing to do with the recall.
- BMW: In 2020, the Munich-based plug-in hybrids had to call back due to technical problems.
- StreetScooter: Deutsche Post has now ended its commitment as a automotive movement. The street scooter with which she wanted to elect her package deliveries had not only heating in winter that were too little efficient. Occasionally it was fire -fighting here too. At least five e-scooters have burned down. In the meantime, the whole fleet of around 12.000 vehicles are closed. The sale of the manufacturer failed. Finally there was a brand again . The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) told Site: "The responsible department is in contact with the manufacturer, studies on the cause of the incident are currently taking place, a result is still pending."
- Polestar: According to software problems, the Sweden-Stromer from the Geely Volvo Group add difficulties with inverter and battery thermal management. Both systems had to be exchanged in specialist workshops. Bad luck for the Swedes: also one of their test cars failed, so that the recall became known to the general public. On a test drive of the Polestar 2, which the magazine "Auto Motor & Sport" had carried out on a four-lane federal road, "suddenly popped up an error message in the test car’s combination instrument, the car delayed rabid, could just be steered onto the hard shoulder at walking speed without other road users crashing into the rear", So the magazine.
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A brandy problem
Problems like this are embarrassing for the manufacturers, but at least not highly dramatic. It becomes dangerous if, as with the EQC or Hyundai, a relevant fire risk is the problem. According to experts, this is statistically no greater than with cars with combustion engines. However, the damage is far greater. In two bus depots in Hanover and Dusseldorf, several e-buses were destroyed in major fires. The fire, the cause of which has not yet been determined, had eaten from one battery bus to the next. Fire protection expert Niki Traxel, a specialist in dealing with burning lithium-ion batteries, says to Site: “Depot fires are always a dreaded scenario because vehicles are close together and the fire can quickly spread from one vehicle to the other. As a safety measure, a distance between the vehicles is important during charging-because during the loading process, the risk of a brand is greatest."And the effort to delete hybrids and electric cars is considerable .
How to delete e-cars
Because the high -voltage batteries can repeat themselves again and again. So far, a car crane has been requested to lower the vehicle in a large rubble container filled with water. What the fire has not done will become total damage through this fire -fighting method at the latest. In the meantime, even incorrect hybrid cars are being prophylactically packed in fire -proof sacks because of the risk of fire. You also need a crane for that.
Brandweer Midden-en West-Brabant, Faceboo Fire risk of electric cars: Dutch firefighters sink a plug-in hybrid from BMW in a water-filled container. Even if the batteries do not go up in flames after the crash, there is a risk of self -inflammation
Brand incidents are not only available for electric cars, but also with electrical two-wheelers. In Bremen, the broken battery of an e-bike probably triggered the fire of an entire family home and caused damage of 500.000 euros, reports "Radio Bremen".
Lifespan of the battery is still uncertain
As already mentioned, the risk of fire is, compared to gasoline vehicles probably not greater, In view of the rapid spread of e-mobile, however, it should be much clearer on the radar than it is currently. Because the complex extinguishing and security measures, which are not necessary for a burning diesel or petrol engine, ultimately cause enormous costs.
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The propagated quick charge The high -performance batteries is another problem. Politicians overturn with demands for building the charging infrastructure. The charging network should be so tight that the long-distance route with the electric car is no longer a problem.Quick charging minimizes the lifespan of the battery. This was recently confirmed by Markus Duesmann, CEO of Audi AG, in an interview with the "NZZ": “The system is so coordinated that you can always make a high-performance quick charge. However, the customer has to decide this himself. If you always load 100%, the battery exposes particularly high stress at the end of the fast charging process. The battery will last longer if you usually load up to a maximum of 80%. So the customer can influence the life of the battery itself.“A sentence that you have to read twice to understand your scope. That would be roughly as if Audi had said in his first TDI diesel engine: "Incidentally, the engine lasts longer if you only fill the tank 80 percent."
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So far, the customer can hardly assess how long e-car batteries. On the one hand, there are reports on Teslas who have already completed hundreds of thousands of kilometers- and that with the original battery. On the other hand, there are reports of just 10 years old Nissan-Stromer in the United States, whose batteries already "ready" are that it is only good for short distances
Guarantee: batteries should at least hold for eight years
The guarantee that the manufacturers grant on the traction batteries of their cars is usually enough for eight years. In the sense of a sustainable product, that would be far too little if it turns out that then many vehicles actually give up gradually. Because the average lifespan of a car in Germany – from the new registration to scrapping – is 18 years in Germany.
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Tesla has more experience, but still problems
The German manufacturers quickly pick up in the electrical technique, but the rabbit-and-league game between Tesla and "the rest of the pack" So far, in favor of Tesla. The Americans have in the construction of their cars, especially with battery and system integration, A long lead over Audi, Daimler and Co.But there are still problems with Tesla. In the United States, a brand new Tesla Model S Plaid has already caught fire. According to Tesla, this should no longer happen with the latest battery generation.
Tesla’s banana strategy
the "Banana strategy" – The product matures at the customer – Tesla has almost perfected. The US automobile expert and formerly sharp Tesla critic Sandy Munro admires the manufacturer for this: "What Tesla has done is to develop a product that is probably 90 or 95 percent finished", explains Munro. "But they have so many ways to analyze all the time what is going on in every car that the feedback can say things like: ‘Hey, what I think, what we should do is x. Let us make this technical change and implement it from here into the vehicles. If I had the choice – to come to 95 percent and then basically wait until the customers complain and then quickly change something", So the car expert, "Then I would rather choose this approach."
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The problem: The German manufacturers in particular have never actually worked in this way (If you disregard the exhaust gas fraud, in which you press new diesel engines onto the market with a not quite finished exhaust gas cleaning). The Tesla customer may be satisfied with a 90 percent car. But it is also the Audi or BMW customer?
OTA updates: technology with a future, but also with pitfalls
The Americans have had what is just being introduced at Volkswagen for years – the wireless OTA updates. However, just as the various operating systems do not always achieve the desired success, Tesla customers do not always agree with the implied modifications that restrict the promised product properties such as the range. Some examples of update problems:
- Two software updates in 2019 for Teslas Model X and Model S produced until 2016 reduced the charging capacity and thus the range by 11 percent. This was justified by the Californians with the “protection of the battery”, reports the portal "Network world".
- In Norway, an arbitration board decided that every Tesla owner has a compensation of around 13.000 euros due to the restriction of usability. And Teslamag.de reports that the capacities were restored in part of the vehicles produced. But not, for example, in the Model S, equipped with a capacity with a nominal 85 kilowatt hours.
- A North German real estate entrepreneur therefore sued the manufacturer before the Munich District Court because the update and the associated reduction in charging power and the usable capacity were so limited that the electric car was "no longer suitable for everyday use", which is why it is again want to manufacture. The capacity and range almost halved. At first nothing is known about the outcome of the lawsuit.
- Recently, at the instruction of the Chinese authorities, 285.000 Model 3 and Model Y are updated because unintentional activation of the assistance systems could trigger sudden acceleration. 135.000 vehicles were called back worldwide in February because of a failure of the central display "Auto Motor & Sport".
- As early as September 2020, 2500 Model Y had to be called back because the control of the brake light on connected followers did not work, which was also possible via software. Later there were at least 401 cars on screws on the wishbone, reported "Teslamag".
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Innovations are not always smooth
Of course, innovations in automotive construction did not always work smoothly. When BMW started using electronic controls in the 1970s, plug -in connections and the kilometers of cable harness proved to be the biggest problem. The Porsche 959 presented in 1986 as a technology sponsor, which has several control units, which has with each other, is symptomatic today. Even today, only a few specialists can wait for the car at Porsche Classic, the price for this goes into the tens of thousands.However, the electric car is intended as an essential part of mass mobility. If it should be resilient, the developers of software, drives and high -voltage batteries have to work a little more carefully. And above all test, test and test. This applies especially to manufacturers whose reliability and quality is an important brand core – not only Daimler, VW or BMW, but also established Asian manufacturers such as Hyundai. Because they lack the Tesla factor: The willingness of the customers, as "Early adopter" to accept significant technical quirks of a new technology.
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